Left to right - Malakai, Josh, Jason and Forrest - See Schindig on YouTube

My band, which is called Schindig consists of a drummer, Jason Fauble, a bass player, Josh Swearengin, lead vocals and guitar, Forrest Glyer and myself on flute, various wind instruments and vocals. We play an eclectic blend of rock and roll and Americana with a little poly-ethnic world flavor thrown in now and then. The music is hard to pigeon hole. It is a shindig. We have been playing as a band for a couple of years now but I have been playing as a musical partner with Forrest for over ten years. I mostly play a very percussive lead style flute, didgeridoo and panpipes. Forrest plays rack harmonica, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and slide guitar. We have been gigging around Mendocino County for a couple of years and are about to record our first CD. It will be a self-titled debut album, “Schindig”. We are recording with Kenny Fink, one of the best sound engineers I have encountered. He makes the room amplified without sounding amplified. This is a gift that not many sound engineers have—to actually hear the highs and lows and balance everything in the midrange. He is an incredible technician. If I was ever to need a sound man on a regular basis and had the means to have such a person on my team, Kenny Fink would definitely be on the list.

We are not going for an over-produced sound and will not use a lot of multi-track recording. We want to capture the live sound as we are very much a live band and all rely on each other.

Malakai playing hammer dulcimer with Schindig
Malakai playing hammer dulcimer with Schindig
Click photo for another photo with flute.

Our band also plays a few songs that feature the hammer dulcimer, an instrument that I have been playing for fifteen years. I really enjoy the tone it brings. It’s not familiar to most of our ears even though it carries a resonance of familiarity that goes back hundreds of years. It is the precursor to the piano—it’s basically a piano where you control the hammers rather than pushing a key that controls the hammers. It is capable of playing a wide variety of music. We have used it for some harmonic-minor Eastern sounding music, Celtic-style music, and to add a bit of extra flavor to some of our “rock” tunes. I enjoy playing it mostly by myself; I sing along with it, hum with it and tone with it, yell with it and beat the heck out of it. I have broken quite a few strings on the instrument. It’s not one of the instruments that you normally break a string on, but I have managed to break at least six. I have a hard time playing with a light touch, no matter what instrument it is. I break a lot of strings and I run through a lot of pads. Anything brass or silver, it’s a lot of pads. Anything wooden, it’s a lot of strings. I have a heavy hand—probably from clutching a brush very tightly all day long.

Malakai performing at Beerfest in Boonville, California
Malakai performing at Beerfest in Boonville, California

Schindig plays regularly at the Irish pub in Willits and some for parties, weddings and funerals. I also travel and perform as a soloist at festivals —EarthDance, the Oregon Country Fair, The High Sierra Music Festival, Faerieworlds and Burning Man. I often do 30-45 minute spots on stage and go through a whirlwind of different instruments.



Malakai & The Train Singer performing troubadour
performing troubadours

I have been recording for a number of years with my father, on the Train Singer label and also on the Kindred Souls label, mostly doing flute and vocals. I definitely enjoy it although it is not “what I do.” I have also recorded with a few other musicians such as Christine Robin, Tubesteak Jones, Keith Gaudette and Spencer Brewer.

I focus mostly on my visual art. I play music mostly for fun.